"Thanks for the gift of textbooks! What a relief for our parents! Grateful thanks to all those who contributed to this great gesture of love through GlobalGiving" wrote the 6th grade students of Ecole Notre Dame du Perpetuel Secours (ENDPS) of Petite-Riviere de l' Artibonite, Haiti.
Seven thousand dollars mobilized through GlobalGiving and made available at the end of October 2012 was transferred to ENDPS. Of this amount, $4,000 were used to buy 900 textbooks (see attached list) and thus ensure that for the rest of the school year (January to July 2013) students would have all key textbooks in math, grammar, sciences, geography and French. As a result, all students from grade 1 to 6 have--for the first time in the history of the school-- their own textbooks. This is truly a revolutionary development. When I visited the school in January 2013, students and teachers were still excited about this. Each time I visited a classroom, students would hold their textbooks up to show their pride and gratitude.
Plans call for recycling the books bought this year but not all of them can be used again. More specifically, in the case of grades 1 and 2, students work the exercises in class and are expected to write in their books.The Principal of the school, Sister Christiane, with a view to further enhancing the quality of teaching at ENDPS, plans on using the remainder of the GlobalGiving funds as follows: first, replace books used in grades 1 and 2 which cannot be recycled; 2. organize teacher training and buy resource materials for the teachers who for years have asked for this type of assistance.
The beneficiaries of this project are 500 plus children of grade one to grade 6 in Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Petite-Riviere de l' Artibonite in Haiti. Until the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, most of the students had no textbooks because their parents were too poor and could not buy books for them. Teachers and parents were conscious and concerned that the children were at a great learning disadvantage.
Thanks to an initial grant from the German Foundation Stiftung Kinder-Hilfe, the first phase of the project was launched in mid-October 2012 and provided primarily math, French and history textbooks. At the beginning of the school year, the new principal--Sister Christiane--discussed the program with parents, teachers and students and explained that a second phase would be supported by funds mobilized through GlobalGiving September 2012 Open Challenge. These funds transferred to PHC at the end of October and to the school by November will ensure that all students will receive the other required texts, at the latest by the beginning of the second trimester.
The children were so excited to have textbooks that they told Sister Christiane that having their own textbooks felt like having received "gifts from heaven"! Teachers and parents as well asked Sister to express their gratitude to all who made possible this remarkable enhancement of learning opportunities for the children.
Pictures included below were taken by a US visitor end September 2012, prior to the beginning of the new school year. The Sisters are not yet able to send pictures through the internet. In these pictures, Sister Christiane and Sister Junie, Director of the orphanage assisted by a few students are putting plastic covers on all the books to better protect them. The students helping are the orphans of the Mission Patriotique Chretienne Orphanage also managed, on the same campus, by the Little Sisters of St. Theresa. The orphanage has 60 orphans of whom 40 attend the primary school.
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District of Columbia,